Today we welcome back guestblogger, Coach Olga Monroe of Raleigh, NC as she shares valuable tips on taming stress!

You can’t manage your expectations and goals if you don’t know what it is that you want.  What are your goals?  Is it to be regularly connected to people?  To do an excellent job?  To call your own shots?  To have more time with your family?  To cultivate a personal relationship?  To maintain an active social life?  To maintain a health regime or exercise program?

If you have two conflicting goals, such as being very active in your social life and also wanting to have a successful career, explore how to meet both goals in a way that works for you.  In this situation, perhaps you can parlay your social drive into professional networking activities after work so that you can kick back after you have left your office, while still actively improving your career.

Manage Your Time

When it comes to developing skills in time management, you’ll be most effective when maintaining awareness of your main goals. After you identify what you want—make a list or verbalize the goals you need to accomplish—start evaluating how to achieve them efficiently.

Unplanned time gets wasted—your personal life spills into the work day, disorganization slows you down, and low energy can demotivate you.  What gets in your way?  What are your procrastination signs?  Do you tend to surf the Internet, walk around the office, take personal calls, or daydream when you begin to slip into procrastination mode?

What daily routines can you establish to manage your time?  Set daily goals and priorities for each day so that you can plan out your schedule.  Find out which system works better for you—is it better for you to schedule your day the night before so that you will have it on your desk ready the next morning, or is it better to make it fresh each day when you arrive? 

During the work day, we can become distracted by various external factors: ringing phones, incoming e-mails, co-workers coming in and out of our office, etc.  These distractions can wear our energy down unless we manage them.  How much time do you want to allocate each day to checking your e-mail and returning calls?  When are you free to talk with others?  What can be your standard phrase to let people know when you are available to get back to them if you are busy?  You may want to consider setting up an automated e-mail reply, or having a support staff screen your incoming e-mails and forward only the ones that require your attention at a specified time (for example, designate 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day for e-mails/calls), if your job is very interactive and fast-paced.

Manage Your Stress Levels

What do you need to do to keep your stress levels down while still working efficiently?  Do you need daily exercise, 8 hours of sleep, frequent stretch breaks, regular meals, or nutritious food?  No matter how carefully you plan your Outlook calendar or to-do list, you won’t achieve success if your agenda is not realistic or your stress levels are unhealthy.

If you struggle to manage your stress levels, consider the following options to help reduce anxiety: What is your best time of day?  What tasks are best planned for those hours?  What is your slow time?  What tasks are best planned for that time?

You may find that while your schedule is busy, it is not wisely planned, and this is burning you out every day.  If you are not a morning person, schedule important meetings for the afternoon.  If you notice you lack energy around mid-afternoon, avoid starting new projects at that time, or, consider having a healthy snack or taking a break to get some fresh air.  If none of these options are possible, how can you be creative?

BEWARE of Multi-Tasking! 

Recent findings reveal that we don’t actually “multi-task”, but rather, we switch attention from one task to the other.  It is estimated that we lose up to 40% (if not more) of our productivity by attempting to do more than one task at the same time.  This includes texting or checking Facebook pages while answering phones!

Learn How and When to Say NO

We live in a society that seemingly makes us feel guilty for saying NO.  But we need to remind ourselves that saying NO when something is draining our time and/or energy, is saying YES to our goals and to what we really want.

Not every request or demand for your time needs be honored by you.  Learn to determine what fits with your goals and what doesn’t.  Learn to deliver a powerful, situation specific NO that you believe in and are comfortable with.  What makes a NO believable to you?  Is it a decisive tone, direct eye contact, a solid posture, a curt response with minimal (if any) added details?

What skills do you need to improve on to make it easier for you to say NO?

Remember: You Are NOT Alone

We can often feel overwhelmed by our workloads and busy schedules, but what this Workshop reinforced, to me, is that we all experience the same struggles.  While our hectic lives may not be unique, we can create our own original plans in order to succeed with our goals.

About Coach Olga

Olga is a Certified Professional Co-Active Life Coach & Mentor who passionately inspires and motivates clients desiring to realize and achieve their life purpose to their fullest potential through a system of perspectives.  She encourages her clients to see the world and its many opportunities in a new way by learning to step fearlessly into their roles as leaders at work, in their family, and within the community. Contact her here or call her at 919-604-0104. Also visit her at ChicksWhoKnow.

Download Olga’s free Guided Meditation of Your Future Self now at


How do you handle stressful situations? What tips can you offer?